- NAME: Lou Reed
- OCCUPATION: Songwriter, Guitarist, Singer
- BIRTH DATE: March 02, 1942
- DEATH DATE: October 27, 2013
- Did You Know?: Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" is a tribute to the individuals he'd met at Andy Warhol's "The Factory," including Holly Woodlawn, "Sugar Plum Fairy" Joe Campbell and Jackie Curtis.
- EDUCATION: Syracuse University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Brooklyn, New York
- Full Name: Lewis Allan Reed
- AKA: Lewis Reed
- AKA: Lou Reed
Best Known For
Lou Reed was a singer and guitarist best known as a co-founder of the influential rock group the Velvet Underground and as a legendary solo artist.
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Following Transformer, Reed recorded a number of albums with wildly differing styles and cultivated an antagonistic and erratic persona. The 1975 electronic double album Metal Music Machine, in particular,
was inaccessible to the point of being commercially untenable. Some critics interpreted it as a gesture of contempt toward Reed's record label and even his fans—a charge that Reed denied.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in 1987, Reed stated, "All through this, I've always thought that if you thought of all of it as a book then you have the Great American Novel, every record as a chapter. They're all in chronological order. You take the whole thing, stack it and listen to it in order, there's my Great American Novel."
A Velvet Underground reunion in 1990 was short-lived—a result of quarreling between Cale and Reed.
Reed continued to perform and record into his later years, releasing more than 16 albums over the course of his long career.
In 2013, Lou Reed became very ill. He canceled several of his scheduled performances, including his appearance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in March of that year. At the time, he blamed "unavoidable complications" for pulling out of these shows. It was later revealed that he had been suffering from liver failure.
Reed received a liver transplant in May 2013. The operation was done at a hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. News about Reed's transplant broke that June, while the rocker was still on the mend from his major medical procedure. He credited his return to health to his medical treatment. "I am a triumph of modern medicine, physics and chemisty," he wrote on his website. Reed also believed that his healthy lifestyle and tai chi practice had helped his body recover from the illness and surgery.
Reed expressed his desire to record new songs and return to performing, but he didn't get the chance to delve back into his music career for long. He died on October 27, 2013. He was 71 years old. Liver disease was determined to be the cause of his death.
Many in the music world mourned Reed's passing. The Recording Academy released its own statement regarding Reed, heralding him as an "exceptionally gifted singer, songwriter and musician who has had a profound impact on rock music and our culture," adding that the music industry has "lost a true visionary and creative leader, and his groundbreaking work will forever hold its rightful place in music history."
Reed married British designer Sylvia Morales in 1980. The couple eventually divorced. In 2008, Reed married musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson.
In addition to shaping rock 'n' roll for nearly 50 years and being an inspiration to rock musicians worldwide, Reed published two books of photographs during his lifetime: Emotions in Action and Lou Reed's New York.
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